Article - Office of College Advancement

Ohlone College Tai Chi Qigong Team wins gold and silver awards

By Elenita Nicholas.

Friday, June 29, 2012—Reprinted from Tri-City Voice.

Ohlone College students brought home three gold and two silver medals from the 4th Annual Tiger Claw Championship last weekend. Under the coaching of world-class martial arts competition medalist and Ohlone instructor Sifu May Chen, students excelled in all levels in the individual competition for Yang Style Tai Chi receiving two gold medals and two silver medals. Lucy Olivia won beginning level gold, Alissa Ballestrin earned intermediate level gold, Nadia Nasiri won advanced level silver, and Brian Cochran won silver in beginning level.

Ohlone's Tai Chi Qigong team 2012.Ohlone's Gold Medal Winning Tai Chi Qigong Team.

The Ohlone Competition Team secured a first place gold award for their intermediate level Five Animal Forms. The eleven participating students included: Alissa Ballestrin, Chloe Blancas, Jan Michael Cruz, Kelvin Ho, Lucy Oliva, Kyle Perez, Nadia Nasiri, Kevin Rabatan, Kamuela Tolentino, Gerard Truong, and Thang Vo. Animal Forms is the oldest of the Qigong routines, over 3,500 years old. The animal forms in this routine are Tiger, Deer, Bear, Monkey, and Crane. The Ohlone competition team demonstrated understanding of internal, external, and spiritual focus inherent in each form.

The Ohlone team shared their gold medal routine with the public at Kung Fu Tai Chi Day, a free event at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose on June 10.

Sifu May Chen commented that the team has "incredible dedication, patience, and compassion," adding it is essential that the students cultivate personal fitness goals alongside connecting with the community at large. Chen is a world-class martial arts competition medalist and a popular teacher at the Ohlone College Total Health and Wellness Center in Newark where she teaches classes through both Community Education Ohlone for Healthy Living and the for-credit academic program.

For more information on the Ohlone College Total Health and Wellness Center visit or contact Robin Kurotori at (510) 742-2350.

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